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17 June, 2010

They knew how to do things in the 1700's

Its been very quiet on the blog recently because I have been on holiday.
We spent a week in the Derbyshire Peak District and although it rained a lot we were out everyday either walking or visiting places.

One of the places we spent a day at was Hardwick Hall, or should I say halls. There are two massive buildings on the one location because Bess of Hardwick while living in the old hall decided that she wanted something better so set about having a new one built. Its nothing short of amazing to think how rich these people were back then but what struck me most was that the whole place was built in 3 years.

Where I live they have been incapable of building a small medical centre in 10 years, yet years ago people in this country were able to build massive houses in 3 with the main aim of impressing the hell out of other people as to how rich they were.

There are a lot of things about these old places that made no sense at all. For example how totally huge some of the rooms are when the only heating was open fires. The fact that the guides tell you this room or the other was used by Bess to receive guests, or entertain or eat with guests when in fact you have to think that she probably didn't have many guests. She certainly didn't get a call on a Friday night saying so and so was popping up from London for a weekend.

It is terribly dark in the new hall, with thick nets at the windows to protect the wall hangings. One guide told me "Bess didn't realise the damage she was doing to the tapestries, well isn't that a bit like someone saying to you you should put covers over you carpets because you will damage them if you use them.

The other thing that made me laugh was an American tourist in the house asking the guide "did they have double glazing" , its worrying isn't it.

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